WASHINGTON, D.C., December 11, 2000 –
In a transaction that will create thousands of jobs and give a major boost
to Jordan’s export industries, IFC is investing US$15 million in loans
and equity that will help make Jordan the center of worldwide luggage manufacturing
operations for the Boscan Group.
IFC has approved loans of $14 million and an equity investment of $1 million
in Boscan Jordan, which produces soft-sided luggage products under brand
names for the U.S. market. The investment will allow the company
to triple production at its facility in Irbid, which is in a Qualifying
Industrial Zone in northern Jordan. Products can be exported to the
United States from the zone duty-free and with no excise tax or quota limits,
under the terms of trade agreements between Jordan and the United States.
The expansion of Boscan’s operations in Jordan will create some 2,300
jobs in a region with high unemployment. Many of these jobs will
be for women. The Boscan Group, which is majority owned by a group
of Chinese entrepreneurs, is working with local colleges to create training
programs to help develop a skilled and semi-skilled local labor pool. The
Boscan Group produces luggage, garments and textiles in Jordan, Dubai and
the People’s Republic of China.
Sami Haddad, Director of IFC’s Middle East and North Africa Department
said there are excellent prospects that other investors will be attracted
to Jordan, drawn by this major investment by a first-class international
business group, an attractive local labor force and other comparative advantages.
Charlie Chang, Chairman and CEO of the Boscan Group called the expansion
a significant milestone in the group’s continuing investment program in
Jordan. He noted that Boscan began operations in Irbid two years
ago with less than three hundred employees, it now employs more than three
thousand workers and the expansion will double this number. Mr. Chang
said he is very excited by the performance of the business to date and
hopes that his company’s success will be an example for other companies
considering investment in Jordan.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and
improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments
in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial
markets and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and